2017 Kia Forte Review: It’s an Effective Facelift


The 2017 Kia Forte reinforces the fact the car maker is committed to offering more for less. It’s a trend other car companies are embracing. Just because it’s a compact economy car doesn’t mean you have to be miserable or embarrassed driving it.

The 2017 Kia Forte sedan isn’t a redesigned model, however the popular ride did get a facelift. Modifications include new exterior stylings, a re-engineered base engine and more driver-assisted technology.

A Walk Around the 2017 Kia Forte

It’s clear that Kia is shooting for a sport-sedan look that reflects the Forte’s competitors across the pond in Europe. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

A new front bumper and a widened tiger-nose grill that extends to connect new headlights emphasize the entire front fascia transformation. In the back, the 2017 Kia Forte has redesigned tail lights.

The new design has a more unified and fluid approach, and as a result the Forte more resembles its bigger sibling the Altima.

The 2017 Kia Forte comes in three trims: the entry-level LX, the new S trim (yes, S probably stands for sporty) and the top-of-the-line EX.

A Look Inside

The Forte S has a few elemental designs that accentuate its sporty personality. In particular, there is the white stitching on the black cloth and the leather wrapped steering wheel and shift knob.

Leather seats are standard in the EX, as are heated front seats, dual-zone temperature control and Smart Key push-button start.

The S and EX trims also feature a 7-inch infotainment screen equipped with the UVO voice-command system. UVO (a play on “Your Voice”) allows for hands-free control over phone, radio and navigational functions. These trims also include the Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone integration features.

Under the Hood

An Atkinson 2.0-liter 4-cylinder is standard for the new 2017 Kia Forte. It replaces its predecessor’s 1.8 liter inline 4-cylinder engine. This new engine can produce 147 hp and 132 lb-ft of torque, and it is available on the LX and S models.

A manual six-speed transmission is standard on the LX, but an automatic six-speed transmission is optional. According to the EPA, the automatic version can get 39 mpg on the highway and 29 mpg in the city.


The EX gets a more powerful 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine that can produce 164 hp and 151 lb-ft. of torque. It registers a combined 28 mpg.

A manual transmission isn’t available on the EX or S models, which sort of contradicts the S model’s sporty motif.

Safety Features

A wide array of safety features are available on the 2017 Kia Forte. Though they cost a little extra, the technology packages are well-worth the money.

The new features include blind-spot detection, which helps the driver change lanes. You’ve also got forward collision warning, lane departure warning and rear-cross traffic alert. There’s even autonomous emergency braking, which is a big surprise for a car in this segment.